Education

Education at UHHM

Hip Hop Science Project

Kwame Holland, Jarod Lanier, Chilly Chill, Senyon Kelly in a recording studio session.

About

Hip Hop Science at the Universal Hip Hop Museum (UHHM) explores and celebrates scientific innovation, creativity, and supreme mathematics that live in Hip Hop.  At the UHHM, Hip Hop Science engages students across NYC, and beyond with Back2theLab to journey into the scientific connections between beat mathematics, sampling, rhyming and dance. We engage the public with The Hip Hop Science Project with conversations and exploration between a Hip Hop Icon and renowned scientists to elevate Hip Hop and Science.

Hip Hop Scientists

Photo of Stephon Alexander
Stephon Alexander (photo by Heather Goodell)

Stephon Alexander

A theoretical physicist, computational physicist, and author whose work is at the interface between cosmology, particle physics, quantum gravity and music technology.  His expertise lays in constructing new theories and models of the early universe that has predictions for the universe at present, such as a dark energy and dark matter.  He also combines mathematics and tools from theoretical physics into machine learning, the geometry and cognition of musical perception, signal processing and computational algorithms.

Alexander is a Professor of Physics at Brown University, and the President of the National Society of Black Physicists.  Alexander is also the Executive Director of the Harlem Gallery of Science.  He had previous appointments at Stanford University, Imperial College, Penn State, Dartmouth College and Haverford College.  Alexander is a specialist in the field of string theory and cosmology, where the physics of superstrings are applied to address longstanding questions in cosmology.

Programs

The Hip Hop Science Project

Universal Hip Hop Museum Photo of Chilly Chill and Justified in the studio
Chilly Chill and Justified in the studio

I eat MC’s up like a pack of hungry lions so step out my way, I’m droppin’ science. 

Marley Marl, Featuring Craig G – DROPPIN’ SCIENCE, (1988). 

Envisioned by world-renowned physicist, Dr. Stephon Alexander, the Hip Hop Science Project is a series of one-hour video live streams pairing a notable scientist of color with a Hip Hop icon. The two will drop knowledge through a spirited conversation about the intersections of science, Hip Hop music, and Hip Hop culture. From ancient instruments that inspired binary code to the sonic cadence of rap lyrics, each conversation is designed to educate and inspire students and adults. The Hip Hop Science project is produced by the Universal Hip Hop Museum and made possible through a generous grant from the Simons Foundation. Droppin’ science and knowledge in Fall 2022.  

Back 2 The Lab

Universal Hip Hop Museum Photo of Will, Aya, and Stephon
Will, Aya, and Stephon

The Back 2 the Lab wing of the Hip Hop Science project will be a short, 7-10 minute film, that introduces NYC Public School students (Middle and High School) to the myriad of ways science, technology, and hip-hop are integrated. 

Dr. Stephon Alexander will take us back to his High School alma mater, DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, New York, and share his personal experiences with the students. Joining Dr. Alexander will be behavioral neuroscientist, international fashion model Dr. Aya Osman, and multiple Grammy award winner, widely acclaimed drummer, member of the rock band Living Colour, Will Calhoun.

Support

The Simons Foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences.

Co-founded in 1994 in New York City by Jim and Marilyn Simons, the foundation exists to support basic — or discovery-driven — scientific research undertaken in the pursuit of understanding the phenomena of our world. Marilyn Simons served as president of the foundation until 2021, when David Spergel was appointed president of the foundation.

The Simons Foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences.

Co-founded in 1994 in New York City by Jim and Marilyn Simons, the foundation exists to support basic — or discovery-driven — scientific research undertaken in the pursuit of understanding the phenomena of our world. Marilyn Simons served as president of the foundation until 2021, when David Spergel was appointed president of the foundation.

The Simons Foundation supports interdisciplinary projects that explore the intersection of science with art, music, design and more. It powers programs that connect science to peoples’ existing interests and identities, with a focus on traditionally underrepresented communities. Programs they fund include informal education experiences, live science events, media productions and capacity building efforts.

To learn more about the Simons Foundation’s current and past projects funded by Science Sandbox, visit: https://www.simonsfoundation.org/outreach/science-sandbox/supported-projects/

(source: https://www.simonsfoundation.org)

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